The Explicit Moves Like Jagger

explicit – adj. – Fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity;  leaving no question as to meaning or intent.

The music video below is the “explicit” version of Maroon 5’s #1 iTunes hit “Moves Like Jagger,” a popular song homage to Mick Jagger’s expressive motions, body language, and choreography while performing.  The video is available to all viewers on YouTube, with no age restrictions.  I don’t know if anyone cares about the intricacies and care put into music videos and pop songs anymore, but I do.


 
To understand this post, it’ll probably help to watch the above music video before, during, or after reading.

The premise of the video is that it is made up of background clips taken during an audition for a later-to-be-filmed video. 

A clever twist is that Maroon 5’s intent is not to orchestrate a video of tightly choreographed and coordinated group dance moves, but rather to show the pervasive beauty that comes from so many people already knowing how to mimic Mick Jagger’s mannerisms, jirations, and facial expressions.

The song plays and the auditioneers take the stage alone, attempting to emulate the bravado of Jagger, trying to entertain an audience with energy and magnetism from primarily just one person.

In the video, men and women, young and old, heavy and skinny want to dance and move like Jagger.  The implication is that Jagger struck conscious and subconscious sexual and sensual nerves in popular culture. 

His audacity was his beauty. 

Jagger’s intentional irrational exuberance was his most honest expression, an expression that rang true to many who not only loved to listen to him, but also loved to watch him.

The video’s humorous and playful structure is framed by sound bites from a black and white television interview from around 1964, where a traditional sounding uppity British reporter talks to Jagger as if he’s a misguided youth who will soon discover the foolishness of his pursuits.

The interviewer says, “You’ve been doing this now for how many years is it?”

Jagger responds, “Two years.”

The interviewer quickly continues his line of interrogatory questioning, “How much longer do you give yourself, doing this thing, going around being sort of uh uh . . “

Jaggers says innocently, “I don’t know.  I never thought we’d . . . I’d be doing it for two years even, you know.”

After the video shows Jagger highlights from his stadium-filled shows for nearly 50 years, the video ends with Jagger’s 1964 interview comment: “I think we’re sort of pretty well set up for at least another year.”  The audio track gives a woman’s lilt of laughter, and the video figuratively and intelligently winks at the audience.

Musically, this version of the song begins with a single whistle looping melody line and a disco guitar riff, revving up the anticipation, stirring up visions of dancers hitting the floor at Studio 54.  One minute into the song, visually and musically, a clapboard slaps shut, sounding like a golf swing, and the audioscape switches from a narrower mono to a wider range Dolby stereo. 

The images go from primarily black and white to primarily color.

And the editing cuts accelerate with the beat.

The sound engineering is a professional mix of 70s and 80s stylings.

And if the pulsing rhythms don’t get you dancing, the song has the audacity to be lyrically substantive:

Just shoot for the stars
If it feels right
Then aim for my heart
If you feel like it
Take me away
And make it okay

I swear I’ll behave

You wanted control
So we waited
I put on a show
Now I’m naked
You say I’m a kid
My ego is big
I don’t give a shit
And it goes like this

Take me by the tongue
And I’ll know you
Kiss me ’til you’re drunk
And I’ll show you all the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the mooooooves… like Jagger

I don’t need try to control you
Look into my eyes and I’ll own you
With the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the mooooooves… like Jagger

Maybe it’s hard
When you feel like
You’re broken and scarred
Nothing feels right
But when you’re with me
I’ll make you believe
That I’ve got the key

So get in the car
We can ride it
Wherever you want
Get inside it
And you want to steer
But I’m shifting gears
I’ll take it from here
And it goes like this

Take me by the tongue
And I’ll know you
Kiss me ’til you’re drunk
And I’ll show you all the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the mooooooves… like Jagger

I don’t need try to control you
Look into my eyes and I’ll own you
With the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the mooooooves… like Jagger

You wanna know how to make me smile?
Take control, own me just for the night?
And if I share my secret
You’re gonna have to keep it
Nobody else can see this

So watch and learn
I won’t show you twice
Head to toe, ooh baby, roll me right
But if I share my secret
You’re gonna have to keep it
Nobody else can see this

And it goes like this:

Take me by the tongue
And I’ll know you
Kiss me ’til you’re drunk
And I’ll show you all the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the mooooooves… like Jagger

I don’t need try to control you
Look into my eyes and I’ll own you
With the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the mooooooves… like Jagger

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The lyrics are perfect and true.  And if you don’t “get” the song, it may be because you haven’t experienced what the singer is singing about.

Some people still don’t “get” Jagger.  But that doesn’t make what he does any less valid or true.

The song as an artwork is vivacious.  If you understand portions of its humor, rhythms, music, and ideas, the song can repeatedly lift you up and carry you away.

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I also enjoy this distinctly different “acoustic” version of the song:

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Moves Like Jagger on Wikipedia

© All rights reserved by the respective artists.

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If you appreciate what I’ve written, please let me know.  Thank you.

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5 thoughts on “The Explicit Moves Like Jagger

  1. I do appreciate what you’ve written. I can’t help but acknowledge how smart and entertaining this song is. I also fumes at the fact that youtube streams a censored version of it, which is an insult to the great talent that has been put into its making.

    – –

    Mark: Thank you

    Like

  2. I’m the blonde girl in the video. Some of my friends (among many other people, i’m sure) don’t understand the song/video and find it frantic and annoying. I had a blast filming it and I think it turned out really great. I appreciate what you wrote, as it opened my eyes up even more to WHY the video is how it is. Do you have more articles on other videos? I would love to read all you have and maybe ask you to share what you think of some videos I may not understand and want your take on?

    Thanks!
    BriAnn Rachele

    Like

  3. Pingback: A Thursday Interruption: Hooray for Thursdays! — The Hathor Legacy

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